Posts tagged "food can"

How can I reuse or recycle large (catering size) food cans?

Sam has emailed asking about large food cans:

I have a number of large metal food cans, some zinc lined, which are called #10 size. They hold about 5 or 6 lbs (just under 3kg) of beans, or other foods. Now that they’re empty, they are open on one end, with no plastic lid to fit them. Any ideas?

Surely I’m not the only one faced with this. I can recycle them, but would like to reuse them.

They sound like pretty big tin cans – probably similar to what we call “catering size” in the UK. I think at least some of the ideas we have for regular size tin cans could be supersized here: plant pots, candle/tea holders for several candles, or using them as a vessel for making those candles in the first place.

But are there any reuses (or upcycling ideas) that are perfect for these bigger cans? Could the can be flattened out to make anything?

How can I reuse or recycle little tin cans?

Mini tin cansWe’ve covered the standard food size ones, but what can be done with little tin cans?

John gave a talk at the Manchester Free Software group last month and afterwards we all adjourned to a nearby pub where we found these little nuts cans on our table.

As I’d just been talking about this website to a couple of people, we decided to do a group-think on how we could re-use them but the best we could come up with was a mobile equivalent of a tin-can ‘telephone’ (because they’re more portable).

With a couple of holes punched in the bottom, they’d make cute little plant pots – but only for very little plants – so any other suggestions?

(The cans are about 4cm in diameter and 5cm in height, quite a solid metal and I think they originally had a paper lid so the rim at the top is quite dull, unlike most opened cans.)

How can I reuse or recycle food cans?

Tin canThanks to the felines, we generate at least one empty tin can a day. Given the size of our kitchen and the delightful pseudo-fishy aroma they tend to emit, we tend to just throw the cans in the recycling bin as soon as they’re empty.

But there must be a thousand uses for them.

Back in the pistachio shell days, we came up with the idea of using the shells in two cans taped together to make a rattling percussion instrument, so that’s one idea – but I’d love to hear more because a girl can only use so many noise makers.